Philippines Typhoon Makes Landfall, Widespread Damage Expected

The Philippines typhoon is being called one of the worst cyclones ever recorded. Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall with sustained winds up to 195 mph. The wind speeds are comparable to an incredibly strong Category 5 hurricane.

Typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones are all the same type of storm. Their names have to do with location, not the weather itself. The powerful storms are called typhoons in the Northwest Pacific, cyclones in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, and hurricanes in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific.

Thousands of people were evacuated in anticipation of the monster typhoon. President Benigno S. Aquino III issued a dire warning, reminding residents that the storm presents “a very real danger.” He encouraged residents to follow evacuation orders to prevent casualties.

As reported by CNN, government officials have prepared relief supplies for communities within the storm’s predicted path. They have also secured aircraft and helicopters to aid in rescue efforts.

The Philippines typhoon will impact more than 25 million people, as the storm is estimated to be nearly 500 miles wide. In addition to wind damage, many areas are in danger of flash flooding and landslides. The storm surge is expected to reach more than 20 feet in Height.

Officials have ordered many businesses, schools, and airports closed so residents have time to take cover.

Many residents of the Philippines are still recovering from last month’s earthquake. The 7.1 magnitude quake is blamed for injuring close to 1,000 and killing at least 222. The damage from earthquake left 350,000 residents without homes.

Although the Philippines are prone to typhoons, a majority of the 2013 season was unusually mild. As reported by USA Today, the region usually experiences around six typhoons each year. Super Typhoon Haiyan is the fourth this year.

Philippines typhoons are always a concern. However, this storm is unusually strong and wide. Authorities said their main goal is to prevent casualties.

The storm is expected to weaken before it exits into the South China Sea. Unfortunately, it will likely remain a typhoon as it reaches Laos and Vietnam over the weekend.

The Philippines typhoon made landfall Friday morning. It is difficult to predict how much damage will occur, but it is certain to be significant.

[Image via Flickr]